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The BalticSea2020 founder Mr Björn Carlson writes about fisheries policy in the online magasine EurActiv

Ahead of the European Parliament next voting in February, the Foundation's founder and chairman Björn Carlson writes about the importance of improving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), in the online magazine Euractiv.de. Björn Carlson says among others that the reform is urgent. Commission figures are alarming: 62% of Atlantic stocks and 82% of Mediterranean stocks are overfished while member states of the European Union have authorized catch levels 40% higher than the average scientific recommendations over the last ten years. In addition, each year 1.7 million tons of fish are thrown back dead into the sea, equivalent to one quarter of perfectly edible fish caught in the EU; a situation that seems absurd as the EU imports more than half of the fish it consumes.

At the same time Björn Carlson says it is not all doom and gloom. Progress has been made over the last years. For example, 22 stocks out of 88 are now sustainably fished in European waters. This achievement has been made possible by following management strategies which are part of the proposed reform of the CFP and are being discussed by our representatives in the European Parliament. Rebuilding stocks and maintaining them above Maximum Sustainable Yield by 2015 would ensure long-term sustainability of stocks, while the discard ban would encourage fishermen to fish more selectively, thus contributing to the increase in commercial catches and reducing bycatch and allowing smaller fish and juveniles to grow. Björn Carlson means that these are well-tested concepts and have proven very successful in various European regions, including in the Baltic Sea.

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To read the article in english - click here.